Movie Review: Top Gun Maverick

Rated PG-13
137 minutes
Release May 27e

I like movies where the cast actually lives the story in order to bring it to the screen. Top Gun: Maverick is one such film, a beautifully made and thrilling action film where human strength, courage, skill and agility are tested. It reminds me of the inspiring short stories written by Dalton Trumbo in the 1920s about sports where the athlete triumphs against all odds through human resilience and perseverance. Incidentally, Trumbo became one of the great screenwriters of all time. Top Gun: Maverick’s script is simple, direct, and human like Trumbo’s stories, allowing the film’s performances, camerawork, and editing to shine.

We pick up the story of “Maverick”, the character of Tom Cruise, 30 years after the original 1986 film, Top Gun. Maverick turned down promotions in the Navy so he could stay on as a fighter pilot and train those entering the program. The making of this sequel is an odyssey in itself. Plans for a sequel were announced in 2010, with original team Jerry Bruckheimer producing and Tony Scott directing, and by 2012 an early draft was complete. However, the project was put on hold when Scott committed suicide. In 2017, a new script was written and casting completed. The film was shot from May 2018 to April 2019. Release was scheduled for July 2019 but put on hold to polish complex action sequences. Before a new release date could be established, the pandemic happened. So it’s finally out now, 12 years after the sequel was announced.

From an editor’s perspective, I assume editor Eddie Hamilton and his team had plenty of time during these delays to refine the very intricate and intricate aerial scenes. These scenes show the exquisite work of cinematographers, actors and editors, and allow audiences to experience the massive forces of speed versus gravity in the cockpit and the intricate precision of landing a jet plane. fighter on the short hull of an aircraft carrier. The editors have molded some 800 hours of highly intricate footage into a smooth, fun-to-watch story. It makes you feel like you’re flying a fighter jet, which is the whole point.

Cruise was the ultimate guide to the entire production and insisted that the actors actually fly fighter jets. They didn’t pilot them of course. The US Navy lent Cruise F/A-18 Super Hornets and the cast, including Cruise, rode with Navy pilots. Cruise put his cast through rigorous training to understand piloting and withstand the g-force involved. Consider that when you feel the pressure of g-force on a serious roller coaster, it’s about 2g. They had to train their bodies to withstand up to around 7.5g to fulfill their roles. They had to learn how to use their own cameras to shoot “selfie” scenes while riding in the F-18s. All the actors are to be congratulated. Miles Teller is an excellent foil for Cruise as “Lt. Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw”, since Teller is the same kind of hyper physical actor as Cruise. When Teller was filming Whiplash, he often ended the day with bloody hands from the intensity with which he approached his role as drummer. Monica Barbaro is “Lt. Natasha ‘Phoenix’ Trace. She credits years of ballet training for allowing her to endure the incredible level of pain that was a reality on set. The ensemble is to be commended.

So the cast and crew lived the action you see on screen to give you the experience you will have when you see this film. The film’s release was repeatedly delayed so that it could only be seen on the big screen. Kevin LaRosa, the film’s aerial coordinator, notes, “When you’re sitting in a movie theater, watching it on that giant screen, and you can feel the sound in your chest when a Hornet and an F-18 super Hornet start – that’s the experience of this film. It’s the only way to get that visceral thrill, and that’s what people deserve when they watch this movie, because that’s what it’s made for. This unique cinematic story is about bravery, skill, perseverance, defiance and heart, as all classic stories throughout history are.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a talent manager at Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. [email protected]